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Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 3:00 am

Metro Water starts to use solar energy

Metro Water District turns on the switch to solar energy today, June 29.

Metro Water installed 608 solar panels on the north end of its office property located on La Cañada Drive, just south of Orange Grove Road. The solar panels are estimated to produce 140 kilowatt hours or 23,100 KWH per month. The energy generated from the solar equipment is expected to save $10,000 annually.

“If electric costs increase a modest 3 percent annually, the district could save nearly $500,000 over a 20-year period,” said Mark Stratton, Metro’s general manager.

Metro is leasing the solar equipment from Solar H2O through a 20-year agreement.  Under the lease agreement, Metro will pay immediately less for each KWH than current electrical rates and expects to further save as the projected cost for electricity increases.  Under the agreement, excess energy can be sold to Tucson Electric Power.

Metro pursued this energy reduction option after Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department installed a solar system at its Roger Road Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Metro also is exploring having solar panels constructed and utilized at some of its larger reservoir and well sites.


Marana man is new ABA director

Marana’s Tom Dunn has been named as Arizona Builders’ Alliance’s director for Southern Arizona. Dunn is an entrepreneur who has started mortgage firms that expanded to national markets. 

In his new position, Dunn’s efforts will be focused on government relations and serving the membership of the Arizona Builders’ Alliance.

“Our industry needs strong political leadership in Southern Arizona that will champion smart economic development. Southern Arizona has the advantages of a wonderful climate, a highly skilled workforce and the entrepreneurial know-how of our membership. The political atmosphere must re-focus its efforts on a stronger, brighter future,” Dunn said.

The ABA is an alliance of the Arizona Chapters of the Associated Builders & Contractors and the Building Chapter Associated General Contractors. Established in 1994, the ABC and AGC merged to form the Arizona Builders’ Alliance to serve the entire construction industry with management education, government relations and apprentice/craft training.

Its members have access to a nationwide network of construction industry professionals, owners, builders, publications and services to enhance their visibility and profitability.

For more information, contact TDunn@azbuilders.org.

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